A small part of me dies when I hear or read someone referring to the prime minister as ‘Boris’, as if they literally know him as an old friend or perhaps a slightly mad elderly relative. He can be excused virtually anything and I don’t quite understand why. For instance, he has presided over the worst COVID death rate in Europe, the fifth highest number of cases (we are about to overtake Russia to become fourth) and the fifth highest number of deaths on the entire planet. Yet people still give him the benefit of the non-existent doubt that he plainly isn’t up to the job as PM and of course the media still presents ‘Boris’ as a loveable rogue, a man you could have a pint with, someone who would make you laugh. And anyway, the media and not a few voters, often conclude with, “Yes, things are bad, but can you imagine how much worse they would have been if Jeremy Corbyn had won the 2019 general election in 2019?”
For those of us who have lost relatives and friends, and have seen relatives and friends struggle horribly with this awful disease, I see no one beyond Johnson and his government to which we should attribute blame. Johnson, we know, is an inveterate and compulsive liar. His friends – amazingly he has some friends – say that his opinions change like the wind, that the thing he says in public is the last thing he heard from someone else. COVID-19 happened on his watch, the massive death toll, together with the enormous hit on the economy, is in large part, down to him. The delayed half-arsed lockdowns, the mixed messaging, the actions of those around him who have ignored the rules and the sheer incompetence of a cabinet chosen not for ability but because of their support for a hard Brexit: this is all his work.
So ‘Ah, but Corbyn” is irrelevant. It’s just speculation, Speculation based on evidence, perhaps, but still just speculation. And I speak as someone who has always regarded Corbyn as unfit to be a party leader, never mind prime minister.
Johnson’s promises that this year would be far better than last year are already beginning to turn to dust. Our children and young people see their futures blighted by the continued closure of schools, colleges and universities, summer holidays being postponed as the virus still rages out of control and all this followed by an almighty financial crash, yet people still love ‘Boris’.
I see a very different Boris Johnson than his cheerleaders. I see a lying, dithering, opportunistic fraud who has led this country to disaster and that’s without even mentioning Brexit. A Corbyn government was always pie in the sky and we should focus on the real villain of the piece: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.